Communication arts -- also referred to by many universities as “communication studies” – encompasses a broad range of disciplines primarily related to various forms of media and the general dissemination of information. Students pursuing degrees in this field go on to become journalists, screenwriters, producers, copy editors, and other related professionals. Many of the best college programs for communications arts complement their coursework with some form of practical field experience. Students interested in this field should consider their particular areas of interest before committing to any program.

Stanford University

Ranked at the top of the list in "US News & World Report’s" 2013 survey of the best colleges for communications studies, Stanford University offers highly regarded bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees. This school has also been ranked number one in communications by the National Research Council, which cited, among other things, the school’s high success rate for doctoral graduates procuring academic jobs. Students of the Stanford communications program can also apply for internships at qualifying daily and weekly newspapers, thanks to generous funding from alumni.

University of Pennsylvania

College Crunch, a popular resource for college rankings, placed the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication at the very top of the heap when it comes to communications arts. The program is designed to expose students to myriad media systems and these systems’ relationship with economic, political, and cultural life. Students will become familiar with the standard research methods associated with communication scholarship, and will have the opportunity to choose a particular area of specialization relating to the communication arts.

Syracuse University

Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications offers eight specialized bachelor's degrees that fall under the sphere of communications, including graphic design; broadcast & digital journalism; advertising; and radio, television, and film. Master's and doctoral degrees are also available. College Crunch lists Syracuse University as the number two school for communications majors. The school also offers a special fall workshop, where multimedia photography and design students are given the opportunity to sharpen and refine their skills by capturing local community images, stories, and video.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill features a high-ranking department of communications studies. College Crunch put this school at number three on its list of “Top 20” communications schools. Undergraduate communications students will gain an ability to analyze various communication phenomena in an interpersonal, organizational, and rhetorical context. Students will graduate with an understanding on how various aspects of communication ultimately shape human and institutional identities. The program offers eight distinct areas of study including media studies and production, performance studies, and rhetorical studies.